Mrs RM used to have Cheshire Building Society as a client, before they were taken over by Nationwide is a move seemingly designed to annoy Macclesfield Town.

For a resident of Cambridge, she’s therefore more than usually familiar with East Cheshire’s underrated little towns and overrated hotels. Macclesfield and Congleton are still favourites of ours, but we always struggled with Wilmslow.

This year saw the first local new entry in the Beer Guide for many years, all the excuse needed to give it another chance.

I just don’t get Wilmslow.  It reminds me of Stevenage with cafes, which isn’t good.  There’s a few handsome buildings like Wedding Ring World and the old Rex cinema, but the pedestrianised shopping streets look very run down. The housing is clearly decent quality, but I can only assume people make the 16 minute train journey to Crewe for their culture.

The only bright spots were a couple of interesting looking cafes along Grove Street, including what turns out to be the new Beer Guide entry.

As I’m sure is obvious, this used to be one of the town’s lap dancing club.  This might seem an odd location for such an establishment, in a street alongside Clarks, Greggs and Superdrug, but perhaps these things go hand-in-hand in Cheshire.

We’d use the Old Dancer a lot if it was in Cambridge.  Like it’s sister pubs in Macclesfield and Congleton, it seems a serious modern beer place with wide appeal. We were the youngest in there for a while, until the elderly grazers were replaced with the Peroni and Prosecco crowd leaving work.  I like that sort of mix. Listening to earnest conversations about the criticality of TDLs (guess) is great when you’re retired.

Art – Wilmslow style

The artwork is wonderful, and the piped music was pretty good as well.  It’s always good to hear the early Crass albums played at proper volume. Or perhaps it was Neil Young.

More beers I’ve never heard of

The only possible choice for Mrs RM was the Squawk IPA (NBSS 3.5), which was good if slightly challenging at 5.7% on a humid afternoon. I can’t predict where their beers will turn up, but when they’ve popped up recently at the Magnet and Cask I’ve loved them.

When Simon Everitt gets here he will be devastated to find the Wetherspoons closed, to be imminently replaced by a Brewhouse & Kitchen. Losing your only Spoons isn’t great, even in a town whose population fell from 30,000 to 25,000 between the last two censuses.

Anywhere with a Balotelli print in the heart of the United support is OK with me too.

8 thoughts on “SQUAWK

  1. I once went for an interview for a job at the Cheshire Building Society. I didn’t get it, which in retrospect was probably a good thing, because as it was described there would have been an awkward internal politics situations. All I have to show for it 15 years later is a tiny little black plush toy cat >^..^< which were being sold for charity.


    1. If it’s any consolation Mudge, that gave me the biggest laugh of the day. Mrs RM will now be jealous she hasn’t got that toy cat, but I’m sure she’d confirm the office politics.


  2. Brings back memories of the year I spent working at Barclays head office and staying in Wilmslow/Alderley Edge. Some lovely country pubs in the area – Bell at Peover a particular favourite for ham and eggs on a Friday lunchtime.

    Great blog.


    1. Sam Smith’s Whipping Stocks is right outside the gates of Barclays at Radbroke Hall near Knutsford, but always seems a touch formal and not very lived-in compared with some of their other Cheshire pubs. The Olde Park Gate just up the road is better.


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